‘Neith and Her Women’, Gerri Leen

Illustration © 2020 Valeria Vitale



 [ My crocodiles, © 2020 Valeria Vitale ] Let me weave you a lesson
Learn from my women
Kneel and be silent
Observe the duality of war
And weaving, see the loom
Notice the map, while the
Shuttle is thrown across
The linen thread
Watch my pendulum swing
Illuminating strategy, where
To attack—you already know
How to attack—show the same care
My women demonstrate when
They select the pattern for
Their weaving, nothing left
To chance—see in the corner
Of the room, my crocodiles
Sleeping—or are they?
No, they blink at every
Seventh fly of the shuttle
Hear them sigh as the thread
Is pressed down, as the map
Changes, spiraling in to show
A land, now a town, now a
Palace, hear them roar
Great tails snapping in time
With the pendulum, with the
Shuttle, with the murmured
Sighs of my women
Take the belt they have
Woven, memorize the map
Before it changes for the
Next petitioner and go
For we have work to do


© 2020 Gerri Leen

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